After appearing in over 200 video games world wide, it's no question that Mario is an international super star. Almost everyone has played a Nintendo game featuring the handsome Italian plumber at least once in their lives (or, in my case, hundreds of times).
Although we can clearly recognize Nintendo founding father Shigeru Miyamoto for the inception of Mario-madness, there were many more teams involved in the production and development of Mario's most successful titles.
But of all these different designers and studios, whose take on Mario is best? USgamer presents to you the evidence; you make the judgment, and here are a few of your options...
Nintendo Software Technology
The team: A rare example of Americans being allowed to work on core Nintendo franchises, the folks at NST have close ties to the Digipen Institute. To date, their Mario involvement has consisted of the Mario Vs. Donkey games.
Mario titles created: Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series.
The case for: The Mario Vs. Donkey Kong games are, in a way, the true successors of the original Donkey Kong. They evolved out of Donkey Kong '94, a brilliant reinvention of the old arcade game, and they keep the methodical, single-screen challenge of the franchise's origins alive.
The case against: NST has only ever worked on Mario Vs. Donkey Kong, a series derived from EAD's earlier work.
Nintendo EAD Tokyo
The team: A recent addition to Nintendo's roster of studios, EAD Tokyo was created to attract talented Tokyo-based developers who didn't want to relocate to work in Nintendo's Kyoto offices. Key personnel includes Yoshiaki Koizumi, who played a key role in Yoshi's Island and Super Mario 64. After proving its mettle with Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, EAD Tokyo then moved on to the Mario Galaxy games and the more recent 3D Land and 3D World.
Mario titles created: Super Mario Galaxy series, Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World.
The case for: The soul of modern Mario creativity lives on in EAD Tokyo's games. Super Mario Galaxy revitalized the series and gave many doubters faith in the Nintendo Wii, and Super Mario 3D World looks to do likewise for the Wii U.
The case against: Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land were both great, but neither hit the stratospheric heights achieved by the original Galaxy. 3D World will be EAD Tokyo's test: Do they deserve to be Mario's stewards, or did they use up their best ideas in their first outing?
Read on about all of the other Mario creators by clicking here!